NASA announced today Rick Gilbrech is the deputy director of John C. Stennis Space Center, the agency's primary testing ground for rocket engines and propulsion systems, and its systems engineering center for applied science activities.
The appointment of Gilbrech, who has served as the center's associate director, is effective immediately.
Gilbrech began his NASA career at Stennis in 1991. After holding several positions at the south Mississippi rocket engine testing facility and at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., Gilbrech was named director at Stennis in January 2006.
He served in that position until August 2007, when he was appointed associate administrator for NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, the division charged with designing the agency's next generation of manned spacecraft.
Gilbrech retired from that headquarters post in November 2008. In February 2009, he returned to federal service as associate director at Stennis.
"Rick did an outstanding job as associate director, and I feel confident his excellent leadership skills will be an asset to our center in his role as deputy director," Stennis Director Patrick Scheuermann said following the announcement from NASA.
Gilbrech is a graduate of Mississippi State University and the California Institute of Technology. The recipient of numerous awards, he has received a Presidential Rank Award and NASA's prestigious Outstanding Leadership and Exceptional Achievement Medals.
The Stennis facility is NASA's primary testing ground for rocket engines and propulsion systems. The facility has been responsible for testing all of the engines used in manned Apollo flights and in space shuttle missions. It currently is preparing to test the next generation of rocket engines to be used in America's space program.
For information about Stennis Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/stennis/.
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